As you might notice on the Twitter feed next to this post, I run quite often. Actually, I am training for my second Paris Marathon (10 April 2011) and also attempting to become a triathlete. I am, however, not a lifetime runner.
For almost 10 years, I was a rock-climber – getting up to about 6a in interior climbing and 5b/c in exterior climbing. I really loved it but with two young kids, I no longer have the 3-4h necessary for training and especially not 2 times a week as required for keeping anything resembling a level up.
Several events pushed me to running. I wrote a little about this last April following my first marathon but wanted to mention here the reading that led up to it. First off, as a kid I read Jim Fixx’s Complete Guide to Running which was an inspiration. Jim ran right up to having a heart attack at 52. My god you say, running killed him! Well actually, he had a heart condition and was expected to die like his father at about 43 and he was a major smoker so running probably increased his lifespan. The book is relatively old (printed in the 70’s) but is full of tips and is so enthusiastic that I had a bit of a hankering for years afterwords for running. The chapter about the Boston Marathon is a classic and I swear that one day I will run that race myself! Back when I read the book I promised myself that I’d run a marathon some day…and later when I was still in my partying 30’s phase, I told myself, I’ll run a marathon by the time I am 40! Then, well, life continued to go on, I continued to climb and 40 approached…
The other book is Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It is far more recent and I must admit that I love Murakami’s writing (and Haruki Murakami as opposed to Ryu Murakami!) so I am probably biased. Anyway, the book is lots of fun and mixed with anecdotes both about his writing and running but most particularly how the two are intertwined and form such a central part of his life. His description of running the original track from Marathon to Athens is captivating as are his other running stories. It was really reading this book that kicked me in the ass to started running and more importantly, to set the Paris Marathon as my goal.
So there you go, two books that inspired me to get off my ass and run. I’d also take a second to mention that running, once you get into it, is highly addictive – it is true what they say! – but that it really doesn’t chew into your day as much as other sports. And, you can do it during travel as long as you bring shoes along.
When I get closer to the marathon, I’ll give you an equipment list but I am off for my beauty sleep now. Good night and thanks to all my readers 🙂